While She Was Out Susan Montford

While She Was Out Susan Montford
With feminist roots and a knowing nod to the cycle of passive objectification, While She Was Out takes the paradigm of victimization and removes the safety net, making for an increasingly dynamic exploration of wholly realized cultural frustrations. The frustrated party in this case being Della (Kim Basinger), a wife and mother of two that has been removed from culture and propped up by her abusive husband (Craig Sheffer) as a caregiver and servant for him. On a particularly brutal Christmas Eve, the evening in which the entire film takes place, Della seeks temporary escape via a routine trek to the mall — the lowest representation of consumer banality — and winds up in an altercation with four hoodlums led by Chuckie (Lukas Haas). Pushed to the edge and unwilling to take the driver's seat any longer, Della unexpectedly acts out in a surprising and wholly satisfying manner. This film is the id response to human compartmentalization and suffrage, which makes it a celebratory and cathartic treat that allows the audience to engage in their secret revenge fantasies. Della is someone that most can easily identify with, given how frequently our core instincts are quashed by rules, hierarchies and social expectation. Here, the subjugated is a woman as mother and object but the sentiment is transferable to any subdued people. While smart, shocking and gleefully brutal, While She Was Out suffers from some fraying around the edges, with some occasionally awkward set-ups and a "colours of Benetton" group of villains that aren't entirely believable. These issues hold the film back from excellence but make it a fine hidden gem for those familiar with the limitations of independent cinema. Included with the DVD release is a "making of" that's sloppily edited but features thoughtful interviews with writer/director Montford and other members of the cast. A commentary track with Montford and producer Don Murphy is included as well, which covers locations, casting, production flaws and intention in an engaging manner for anyone curious to learn more about the film. (Paradox)